Tuesday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time, July 16
With the Particular Gifts and Charisms with Which Our Lord Has Blessed Us, May We Become His Extension of Love and Mercy Here on Earth.
We have all heard or read stories about babies being abandoned on doorsteps, hospital entrances, even sadly in dumpsters or trash bags. But today’s story is different.
Out of love for her son, and trusting in God’s providential care for His children, the mother of Moses, in our First Reading, set her son adrift along the river bank, trusting that God would take care of him. For she knew that if the Egyptians found him in her home, he would be killed by order of Pharaoh.
And Scripture tells us today that when Pharaoh’s daughter found the basket adrift and opened it and saw the child inside, “She was moved with pity for him…” And with this same sense of compassion, she adopted him, making him her own. Thus, the story of Moses began.
Sometimes, the word pity takes on different meanings, depending upon its usage or the context in which we find the expression. In today’s Scripture Readings, we become exposed to two opposing uses of the term.
In our First Reading, Pharaoh’s daughter is moved with compassion and sadness that a mother would have to abandon her child, in order that the child may have a chance to live, for she knew that her father, who was the ruler of Egypt, had decreed that every male child was to be put to death by the sword as a means of lessening the population of the Jewish people. It was Pharaoh’s way of implementing a policy of forced birth control.
By caring for and adopting the child, her compassion was a living example of love and charity, even towards those who were being persecuted and marginalized by an unjust ruling. And unbeknownst to her, her pity was the means by which God’s plan of salvation for His chosen people would be fulfilled.
In stark contrast, however, was the pity which our Lord felt for those who chose to turn their backs on God’s Mercy in our Gospel Reading today, a Mercy which He was freely extending to His children, a Mercy which they had freely chosen to reject by remaining obstinate and unrepentant.
The pity which our Lord felt was not one of compassion; rather it was one of disappointment and sorrow, when He replied, “Will you be exalted to heaven? You will go down to the netherworld.”
In essence, our Lord was mourning the lack of faith of all those who could not recognize the workings of God’s Love within their midst, even when they witnessed the healings which took place in front of their very eyes!
In His disappointment, our Lord spoke of God’s Justice, a Justice which many people today ignore or disregard, for such thinking runs counter to their way of thinking and their way of life – a life which purposely disregards the teachings of Christ, a life which even shows disdain and contempt for the basic Ten Commandments!
But for those who try to live their faith in the midst of secularistic thinking, for those who work at keeping their focus on Christ, even in the midst of ridicule and persecution – for there are many Christians throughout the world today who ARE being persecuted for their faith (each year, over 100,000 are being martyred throughout the world) – our psalmist today echoes their individual cries with his own words of lament, “But I am afflicted and in pain; let your saving help, O God, protect me.”
In times of trial, in times of despair, each of us must always remain focused on what truly matters in this life – God’s indescribable Love for each and every one of us! And even in the midst of our own sufferings, God still asks us to remain faithful to the two basic Commandments which our Lord gave us, which is the summation of the original Ten – love of God and love of neighbor.
As you and I journey through life, as we travel through the different valleys of tears which are asked of each of us, we must never turn to empty despair but always have faith and trust in God’s providential Love for His children.
And with this faith strengthening us, He expects each of us to also do our part in reaching out to help others. With the particular gifts and charisms with which our Lord has blessed us, He is asking that each one of us become His extension of Love and Mercy here on Earth.
We are to become faithful children, imitating Christ in the Love He has for us, imitating Pharaoh’s daughter in our First Reading, reaching out and caring for those who are marginalized and less fortunate.
Remember, “she was moved with pity.” May we take it one step further and look upon the poor and the marginalized with compassion and love.
May you and I become the Merciful Christ as we reach out to all who are suffering, seeing in them the Suffering Christ and ministering to their needs, alleviating their pain in whatever way we can, with whatever gifts we have been given.
And when our life comes to an end – and one day it shall – and when our Savior finally looks at us during our time of judgment, instead of facing His Divine Justice, may you and I take confidence in hearing Him say to each of us –
“Well done, my good and faithful servant…Come, share your master’s joy.” †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “As he drew near, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, ‘If this day you only knew what makes for peace…’” (Luke 19:41-42a)
- “Then he began to reproach the towns where most of his mighty deeds had been done, since they had not repented.” (Matthew 11:20)
- “And as for you, Capernaum: ‘Will you be exalted to heaven? You will go down to the netherworld.’ For if the mighty deeds done in your midst had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.” (Matthew 11:23-24)
- “Noticing the basket among the reeds, [Pharaoh’s daughter] sent her handmaid to fetch it. On opening it, she looked, and lo, there was a baby boy, crying! She was moved with pity for him…” (Exodus 2:5b-6b)
- “Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)
- “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” (Colossians 3:12)
- “Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.” (Ephesians 4:32)
- “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)
- “For I kept the ways of the LORD and was not disloyal to my God. For his ordinances were all present to me, and his statutes I put not from me; but I was wholehearted toward him, and I was on my guard against guilt. And the LORD requited me according to my justice, according to my innocence in his sight.” (2 Samuel 22:22-25)
- “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on…let them find rest from their labors, for their works accompany them.” (Revelation 14:13bc)
- “Well done, my good and faithful servant…Come, share your master’s joy.” (Matthew 25:21ac)
Prayer for the Day
“Eternal and Most Loving Father,
I submit my entire self to Your holy will.
All that I am today, transform me into Your servant;
living Your Truth amongst my brothers and sisters.
“Thank You for imbuing me with Your Holy Spirit,
who guides me to live a life of righteousness,
enabling me to be all that You desire me to be,
so that I may give my best in service to Your children.
“Forgive me for my past failures,
rejecting the image of Christ in those around me.
In selfishness, I held back Your Love
and fell short in living the virtue of charity.
“Fill my heart with humility,
so that I may always fulfill Your will,
imitating the life of Your Son, Jesus,
giving love without counting the cost.
“In Jesus’ Name, I pray for this grace
for the glory of Your Divine Majesty,
in the Presence of the Holy Spirit,
and for the well-being of my soul for all eternity. Amen.”Anonymous